As someone who has lived in Amsterdam, I’ve been asked frequently for recommendations on where to stay in Amsterdam. I’ve created a neighborhood overview with affordable hotels in Amsterdam worth visiting with the advantages/disadvantages of each neighborhood in Amsterdam. I’ve also asked fellow bloggers for their previous stays at hotels in Amsterdam. I hope that this insider guide helps you find the perfect Amsterdam hotel within your budget!
- Top picks: Where to stay in Amsterdam
- Tips for finding affordable accommodation in Amsterdam
- Should you stay at an Airbnb in Amsterdam?
- Where to stay in Amsterdam: Neighborhood guide with pros/cons and specific hotel recommendations.
- The best neighborhoods for first-time visitors
Top picks: Where to stay in Amsterdam on a budget
TDLR; You just want my top recommendations for hotels, bed and breakfasts, and hostels. (Keep reading if you want more nuance with neighborhoods!)
The Muse is a beautiful boutique hotel just footsteps away from Vondelpark and the action of Amsterdam Centre. For those seeking a romantic experience, Mauro Mansion is great for couples. Hotel Not Hotel is a unique experience for anyone who loves art and is tired of standard hotels. The Volkshotel is perfect for design lovers on a budget.
The best neighborhoods for first-time visitors to Amsterdam, in my opinion, are De Pijp if you love food and culture, de Jordaan if you want to surrounded by beautiful canal houses and close to the Anne Frank House, NDSM if you’re looking for affordable options and like graffiti, and Zeeburg or De Baarsjes if you’re on a budget!
Tips for finding affordable accommodation in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is not so cheap at this point in time and many people are shell shocked by the prices. I highly recommend as far in booking advance as possible as there are limited accommodations in Amsterdam and the prices are high, even for hostels. The longer you wait to book, the fewer options you’ll have.
Remember that you don’t need to do a hotel as there are many cozy bed and breakfasts within Amsterdam that provide great value AND privacy with the benefit of a friendly local house. As of 2020, there will be limits of how many bed and breakfasts exist in each neighborhood and I expect there will be fewer within a year’s time from writing this article.
You can save big by skipping the big-name neighborhoods in the center to stay in the city center, perfect for those looking for a quieter trip. (I’ll be discussing these neighborhoods within the article.) Anything that is located within a historic building or houseboat is generally higher priced due to the demand for these accommodations.
Amsterdam doesn’t have bad neighborhoods on the same level as many places around the globe and I generally feel (and felt!) safe in Amsterdam, even as a solo female traveler in Amsterdam. Still, many locals look down on certain neighborhoods, which are historically more diverse areas. I will touch on the various neighborhoods below, but I lived in one of them when I moved to Amsterdam and actually felt a nice sense of community there.
If you’re visiting other cities on a day trip after spending 1-3 days in Amsterdam, I’d recommend moving your bags to head to Leiden, Delft, Rotterdam, or the Hague. Accommodations are often a fraction (sometimes even 50% cheaper) of those in Amsterdam and you’re still quite close to everything, including Schiphol Airport.
For something different without the crowds and the chance to experience the quieter side of Holland, head north to Alkmaar or Hoorn. You’ll find a number of cozy stays near Hoorn that offer accommodation within cute little villages if you’ve dreamed of Dutch windmills and tulips in Holland. None of the crowds of Keukenhof!
Should you stay at an Airbnb in Amsterdam?
Please don’t! The Amsterdam housing crisis might not be on the level of New York’s or London’s, but it’s a significant problem for locals. Overtourism in Amsterdam is a significant problem and Airbnb is highly regulated enough that you can do a lot better renting an apartment through official channels (e.g. vacation apartments run professionally through Booking.com).
If you’re interested in Airbnb for the uniqueness of the experience for the price, I definitely recommend looking up SWEETS Hotels. This hotel group owns many of the former bridge houses where bridge keepers used to live. Today, you can stay in these cute little houses for as little as 130 euros per night. (If you’re facing sticker shock, keep scrolling for more budget options!)
Where to stay in Amsterdam by Neighborhood
This post does not focus on hostels, but rather hotels. If you’re looking for a hostel, I always recommend staying at Flying Pig Downtown if you’re in Amsterdam for partying, Stayokay Amsterdam Vondelpark for a calmer experience, or Cocomama if you’re looking for a place that feels instantly like home. Keep reading for my neighborhood guides!
Where to stay in Amsterdam Center
Although people often think of the Red Light District when they think of Amsterdam Center, there is much more to Amsterdam Center! If you have a short trip to Amsterdam, I recommend staying in the Center for easy access to the main attractions of Amsterdam.
Despite the many tourists, the Center of Amsterdam holds a lot of appeal for those interested in being able to walk almost everywhere–and see the canals no matter where they are. Within Amsterdam’s old city center, you can do very well by staying at a number of budget-friendly accommodations just a short walk from Amsterdam Centraal!
St. Christopher’s Inn
I am a big fan of the St. Christopher’s Inn hotel/hostel chain for those on a budget and I personally have stayed at many of their hostels (albeit in private rooms). If you’re a social traveler looking for a key location in the middle of the Red Light District for a weekend of partying in Amsterdam, this affordable hotel/hostel has a location that is unbeatable for the price.
Rokin Hotel recommended by Two Find a Away
Finding affordable and central accommodation in Amsterdam can be quite challenging. After hours browsing online, we booked Rokin Hotel for three nights. At the beginning of December, a private double room with en-suite bathroom and breakfast included cost us 100 euros per night, which is quite affordable when compared to the other options we researched.
The Hotel is very centrally located, only steps away from the Dam Square, and close to Amsterdam’s Central Station. This meant that we were able to walk everywhere and only spent money on public transportation to and from the airport. The hotel in itself is quite simple, but exactly what you need to rest after a day exploring the city. We were also pleasantly surprised by the breakfast offer, as there was a buffet available with plenty of variety for a three-star hotel.
There was nothing particularly unique about the Rokin Hotel, but it was exactly what we were looking for during our stay in Amsterdam: an affordable and comfortable option, with all the amenities we needed, right in the center of the city.
Mauro Mansion recommended by the Nomadic Boys
Mauro Mansion is one of our favourite hotels to stay in Amsterdam. It’s a 3-star hotel with bags of charm and character, set in a 16th-century canal house. It retains its old-world charm with high ceilings, marble corridors, wood paneling and other original features in place, which beautifully matches its modern decor. Location wise, it’s super convenient, located just around the corner from the main Amsterdam Centraal train station.
We love it because it only has 9 rooms, so it feels more like a homestay than a large corporate brand. It’s also targeted to people looking for a boutique romantic stay – for example, they openly advertise a 12+ years old policy and turn away large group bookings.
The owners are Berry and Marcel who really get to know their guests and make them feel welcome. It is this which made it special for us and why we recommend it to fellow couples looking for a romantic and affordable place to stay in Amsterdam.Rooms at Mauro Mansion start from €130 per night. For more LGBT-friendly recommendations, please read the Nomadic Boys’ Amsterdam gay travel guide.
One of the neighborhoods close to Amsterdam Centre that I always recommend to visitors is the Jordaan. This stunning neighborhood with a long working-class history is full of charm and beauty. (You can follow my guide to the Jordaan to discover its secrets!) The real reason that I recommend staying in the Jordaan is that there are a number of beautiful affordable hotels in this part of Amsterdam with canal views and its proximity to the Anne Frank House. My cousin stayed here when he visited me and he loved this neighborhood!
My top recommendation for an affordable hotel in Amsterdam is within in the Jordan. Mr. Jordaan is a cozy boutique hotel that puts just a little more effort into making your stay special. Have you dreamed of stepping right out of your hotel to see the canals of Amsterdam? At Mr. Jordaan, you can! Book in advance to lock in a good rate as it does book up, however, I’d argue that it has one of the best value-for-money deals you’ll find in Amsterdam although their prices can cost more than 150 euros if you wait too long!
Another great pick for couples on a budget is the Linden Hotel. This cozy boutique hotel in the heart of Jordaan is perfect for design lovers on a budget. Although the rooms aren’t big, the staff is friendly and you have all the Jordaan at your doorstep, including some great brown bars that you won’t want to miss!
One of my favorite hidden gem neighborhoods is my old neighborhood of Haarlemmerbuurt. This quieter residential neighborhood runs along its namesake street and you’ll find the stunning off the beaten path Western Islands neighborhood behind it. You’ll find lots of independent shops, cafes, restaurants, and other necessities (e.g. laundry and grocery stores). It’s also significantly less expensive than other areas of Center.
There are a number of houseboats in this area that you can rent for multiple nights. A good budget option in this neighborhood is Hotel Teun if you’re looking for a no-frills hotel for couples on a budget with a good location near the action, but far enough from the Red Light District to give you space. (Beware of the stairs!)
Amsterdam West is quickly becoming one of Amsterdam’s coolest neighborhoods as most independent businesses and restaurants open here. Oud-West is walking distance from the busy Leidseplein, the center of Amsterdam nightlife, as well as the Museumkwartier.
There are a number of lunch places I love in this neighborhood and for convenience, it’s hard to beat the location of Hotel Iron Horse given the price. A great affordable hotel option is the modern and certainly unique capsule hotel CityHub. If you’ve dreamed of staying at a capsule hotel in Japan, you’ll love this.
Kinkerbuurt / De Baarsjes
On a recent staycation at a hotel in Amsterdam, I stayed near the Kinkerbuurt (Oud West)/De Baarsjes area only to find fantastic cocktail bars and food in this area. It’s a quick tram ride to Center from here and you’ll understand why this is one of the most sought out neighborhoods in Amsterdam after you stay here.
Hotel Not Hotel is a really unique experience. This hotel designed by an art collective made each room different. For the price, I was impressed by how comfy the bed was and the design elements of our room (hidden behind a bookcase!). Within the main area, you’ll even find an old Amsterdam tram that people can stay in as well as other unique rooms that you’ll wish that you booked! The cafe attached to the hotel had good food and we were quite impressed by their creative cocktails. There’s good food in the neighborhood in case you choose to skip paying for breakfast at the hotel.
If you’re not as keen on walking, the Sloterdijk area is bit further out from the Center and not as pretty. However, Sloterdijk offers great tram, metro, bus, and train connections with Amsterdam and other cities. You can also easily take the train to Schiphol Airport. My dad stayed at the XO Hotel Park West in this area and found it ideal for minimizing walking as it was right across from Sloterdijk station.
There is an entire song about the wealthy folks of Oud Zuid, which is one of Amsterdam’s most beautiful neighborhoods for those who plan on spending much of their time within Amsterdam’s world-class museums. I always love taking a stroll or a run in Vondelpark, so if you’re interested in relaxing during your time in Amsterdam (especially in summer), Oud Zuid might be the neighborhood for you if you can find a reasonable hotel!
A great affordable hotel option in Oud Zuid is The Muse, a beautiful boutique hotel just footsteps from Vondelpark, the Rijksmuseum, and some great food options in the Museumkwartier.
Amsterdam Zuid itself is very different than the rest of Amsterdam. It’s full of modern skyscrapers, modern hotels that won’t break the bank, and good train//metro access to the city. If you’re in Amsterdam for business or a conference (RAI Center), it’s likely that you might have a business in this area. There’s a good connection with Schiphol Airport in Zuid, which is a good reason to stay here if you must leave early in the morning for a flight.
Zuid is much quieter than other areas at night, so you can get good value in this neighborhood, especially for those traveling with kids! A great option for couples in this area is the chic yet modern Citizen M Zuid, which provides luxury amenities without the price tag.
Beyond Oud Zuid, you’ll find De Pijp, which is one of Amsterdam’s hippest neighborhoods. With a lively street market (Albert Cuypmarkt), many cute independent shops, and numerous cafes, you’ll absolutely fall in love with De Pijp if you’re looking for a location with good access to bars, cafes, and restaurants.
This is hands-down one of my favorite neighborhoods of Amsterdam and I recommend looking here for accommodations! For those on a budget, the Arcade Hotel offers great value in the middle of De Pijp with modern rooms and video game consoles. For the real B&B experience with a friendly host, check out Anna’s Second Home if you don’t mind sharing a bathroom!
Amsterdam Oost is an area of Amsterdam that is the process of gentrification. This area is historically fairly diverse with a large population from Indonesia. I especially love the Dappermarkt, one of the major street markets of Amsterdam for food, drinks, and random items.
Amsterdam Oost (not to be confused with Zuid Oost [Southeast]) is a great location as you can easily take the tram or bike across Amsterdam. For those who prefer walking (albeit a 30-minute walk to Centre), you have stunning views along the Amstel to enjoy. There are many restaurants from all over the world in this area.
Hotel Arena recommended by Aga
Hotel Arena is situated right outside of the city centre by one of the biggest parks in Amsterdam – Oosterpark. Such location pretty much guarantees a quiet and relaxing stay. The hotel is housed in an interesting, historic building, which was built in 1886 and started as a Catholic orphanage. Some original features, like the chapel and a grand staircase, have been kept in their original state. The hotel has a very friendly vibe, great amenities and a perfect location for those who don’t like the crowds.
The inside of the building is nothing but modern. The room we stayed in – Arena Classic – was rather simple but felt luxurious with its high ceilings and a classic white & black palette. Because the original layout of the building was kept, the rooms differ slightly. Ours had separate floors for a seating area and bedroom and huge windows overlooking the courtyard. I guess the spacious room was another advantage of not staying in a hotel in the city centre.
Volkshotel Amsterdam recommended by Clemens
We are in love with unique hotels. The Volkshotel in Amsterdam is one of them. Located in an old newspaper building, it keeps up the good old journalism vibes. The rooms are nicely designed without having too many things that one simply doesn’t need. The minimalistic concrete design includes a few plants that you find in the room and colourful lines in bed.
Above all, the hotel has a very unique customer experience, which works from the logo through documents such as menus or check-in papers to the design of shampoo and shower gel in the bathroom. This is the kind of uniqueness that we like! The best about it? It’s less than 100 euros per night!
Located in Amsterdam Oost, a little out-of-the-center of Amsterdam, it’s still close to everything you want to see in the Dutch capital. And if you won’t make it into town, you can always jump into the Jacuzzi on the rooftop of the hotel, join in of their yoga classes right next to them or have a long night in their very own club.
Design lovers, meet your match. Today, hostels and hotels aren’t so different from each other. Generator Amsterdam is a hotel/hostel combination within an old university building is filled with colorful art, cheeky signs, and spacious rooms for a low price. For those not interested in hostels, you can stay in a private room (with your own bathroom) here for half of what you’d pay in Amsterdam Center. It’s hard to find a better deal for what you pay here combined with the social lounge area where you can meet fellow travelers and chat with the friendly staff.
The Student Hotel Amsterdam City
I am a big fan of the Student Hotel and actually stayed here during the process of moving. This hotel/dormitory is a strange mix, but it works. Within the rooms, you’ll find cheeky college-themed decor with comfy beds and black-out curtains. The location of the Student Hotel is a little outside of the city center, but just enough that you can relax without the crowds. They rent bikes in case you want to get around like a local. I’d say that it’s a good value for couples on a budget!
Within Amsterdam Noord, you’ll find a side of Amsterdam that many tourists don’t see from scenic villages straight out of a storybook to big industrial warehouses now used for some of the best clubs in Amsterdam. This area has gentrified in recent years from a working-class area to a cool hipster area popular with 20 and 30 somethings. If you’re looking for hipster vibes, you’ll love Noord. In order to get to Noord, you can take the scenic (and free!) ferries that run from Amsterdam Centraal to other parts of Noord. The other advantage? the prices will drop!
If you’re looking for an unusual hotel experience in Amsterdam, I can recommend staying at Amstel Botel. Not only will you be staying at a boat, but it will also be cheaper than most other central hotels in the Dutch capital.
Amstel Botel is located about 5 minutes from the central station by ferry. The Botel is located across the Amstel River and it is connected to the rest of Amsterdam by the free ferry that runs between NDSM and Amsterdam Centraal. The ferry runs frequently. From Amsterdam Central Station, you can walk to many sightseeing spots, and you can get a bus or train to almost anywhere in the city.
The rooms are basically boat cabins, so don’t expect luxury. For the money spent, it is a good value. The staff was friendly and helpful with information about sightseeing and ferry schedules.
Other areas of Amsterdam to stay in on a budget
If you’re on a budget visiting Amsterdam, you can save big by going out further into the city center. However, this often means that you will need to depend on public transit or the trains to get around, which will incur extra costs. Compared to many other cities, Amsterdam is small, however, if you intend to go out late, I’d be mindful of staying this far out as you should check if the night buses run by where you’re staying and/or the price of a taxi home. Many locals are less than enthusiastic about the diverse Biljmer in the Southeast, but you can find many affordable hotels in this area.
Still Amsterdam: Zeeburg / Eastern Docklands
The Eastern Docklands is the perfect area for the traveler looking to get off the beaten path–or save a lot of money on accommodations! This area was once used for shipping/building ships, but now it’s a popular destination for families within its many housing. (Some of the islands are entirely artificial!) Zeeburg and the Eastern Docklands tend to be quieter than other neighborhoods, however, you’ll find some cool alternative cafes and events here. You’ll find a number of cheap hotels in this neighborhood of Amsterdam.
Camping Zeeburg is pretty far outside of the city center, however you can save big by staying in one of their cute little eco-cabins. I came out here for kayaking from their facility, which was really relaxing. I was very impressed by the facilities, including the cafe. Don’t be scared off by the name as they do more than camping and Dutch camping is very different than camping elsewhere. They do have a minimum stay of several nights, but I’d argue that this is one of the best family-friendly accommodation options in Amsterdam on a budget as you can pay as little as 80 euros per night for a small cabin that can fit four people.
You’ll find the Lloyd Hotel hidden within the cool yet quieter Eastern Docklands. This boutique hotel within a beautiful old building has large, clean, and spacious rooms with a modern touch. From here, you can easily take the tram into Amsterdam Center or rather explore this quieter side of Amsterdam to get a feeling for local life. The cafes nearby are also really great and you have good access to supermarkets here as well!
Other cities near Amsterdam to stay in
Many get shellshocked at the prices in Amsterdam and end up staying nearby. My parents recently did this and they chose to stay in Haarlem instead of Amsterdam in terms of getting more value for money, especially in terms of finding a 4* hotel for the price of a 2* star hotel in Amsterdam.
As you will be staying outside of Amsterdam, you will be incurring costs (4.50 euros each way per person) daily as you travel to/from Amsterdam by train. My parents ended up spending more time in Haarlem as they fell in love with it, so think carefully if you want to spend the extra money on the trains. A great budget option is niu Dairy in Haarlem, a charming boutique hotel walking distance from the train station and the city center.
For those on a budget who love architecture, I highly recommend looking up the very unique Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Zaandam hotel, which is in a building (shown) that is based on historic Zaandam houses. From here, you have a great train connection with Amsterdam and ease visiting Zaanse Schans, the beautiful windmills near Amsterdam that many people visit on a day trip from Amsterdam. You’ll also find other affordable hotels and guesthouses near Zaandam if you want the countryside/traditional experience!